The Secret Garden Festival

As you get older and finally give in to the fact that you can't do the same things you did in your twenties, you have to go looking for ways to fulfill certain desires.  I love music and I love concerts/festivals.  One of the highlights of my twenties has to be my trip to Electric Picnic with my sisters, their better halves and Dec.  The shennanigans that went on can't not be repeated, 'what happens at the picnic, stays at the picnic!' and to be honest I'm not sure if I want to repeat them, but there are times when I do want a little bit of excitement in my life that can involve the boys.
This year we decided to have a camping festival at home!  We've been growing veg, brewing champagne and decided we wanted to throw a party/BBQ to thank all our family for their support during the year and to celebrate.  What we wanted to celebrate I'm not sure, but we wanted to and so 'The Secret Garden Festival' was born.

As regular readers will know I love a good party, especially the prep and the build up and this one was no different.  I wanted to focus on keeping things, low cost and using as much as I could from around the garden and home, rather than spending a fortune and I think the results were better than if I had spent a fortune.
Check out the pics below to see our flower arrangements in recycled bean tins, with flowers from the garden and the marquee we put together from two old ones being thrown out.  The bunting was from my sister's wedding and the lights recycled Christmas ones.
The BBQ had lots from the garden too and I've included the recipes below for my favourite potato salad and Rachel Allen's pickled cucumber.
We asked everyone coming to bring a pop up tent to give it that festival vibe and with the BBQ sizzling and the weather actually behaving itself, a great night was had by all. My niece and nephew even gave us an impromptu concert on the guitar and ukulele.  I love the summer and family get togethers.  To toast the night we also broke into our stash of elderflower champagne that we've been experimenting with and it went down a treat.  Blog post coming soon on the whole process but I am delighted to say that the woman that loves bubbles made her own and they weren't that bad!!!

Cucumber Relish

(Courtesy of the wonderful Rachel Allen)
300g unpeeled cucumber thinly sliced (I use the side slicer of my grater)
1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced (this is optional and I don't use it)
100g sugar
1 tsp salt
75ml White wine vinegar

The Relish should be made an hour or more before use.
Mix the cucumber and onion in a large bowl, add the sugar, salt and vinegar and mix well to combine.
Store in a jar of bowl in the fridge.

And its that easy and absolutely scrumptious!!!!!  I'd eat the jar with nothing else!

Trish's Easy Potato Salad

1 clove of garlic peeled and finely chopped
8 - 10 salad potatoes roughly diced and boiled for 5 minutes
2 spring onions chopped (our's come fresh from the garden!)
1 tbsp of light mayonnaise

After boiling the potatoes mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!!!!

I'm a very complicated chef huh?  Food doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to be yummy!  The salad potatoes and the cucumber happened to be in Aldi's super six the week of the BBQ.

So after such a great night 'The Secret Garden Festival' as probably become an annual event, lets hope the weather next summer is a bit more sunny and a lot less rainy and we might even be able to camp out for real.

Better head tonight - lots of reading to do!!!! Chosen as Mahon Point Shopping Centre's Guest Blogger for August and happily making my way to some of Eason's Summer Reads to review.  
Also prepping the nails for the Galway Races on Thursday - so excited to be heading to Ladies' Day!  Have my Elizabeth Christina Designs hat already to go and the guna is an old one (with very special significance) revamped!  You'll have to pop back over the weekend to check out the photos and hear all about the champagne tent!

The summer maybe wet but I'm making the most of it!
Have a good week!
Lots of love and bubbles,


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